Career Outlook

It is helpful for students to start researching career fields of interest as early as possible. Visit O*Net OnLine for occupation information including summary of technology skills, abilities, work activities, level of required education, wages and employment trends, and more. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is also a great resource for checking local and national employment trends, expected job growth, salary information, and entry-level education needed.

Do you have the personality traits of a great accountant or bookkeeper?

Stack of books in front of person sitting at table

If the following describe you, Accounting is the career for you:

  • organized
  • logical thinking
  • methodical
  • careful
  • orderly
  • patience
  • persistence
  • detail-oriented to avoid making errors and to recognize errors made by others
  • trustworthy and discreet because they frequently come in contact with confidential material
  • good communication skills, because they increasingly work with customers
  • strong aptitude and tolerance for lots of numbers and calculations

Career Paths for Accountants/Bookkeepers

We have many students that pursued and took  the CPA exam with credits taken at Bellevue College. However Bellevue College does not advise which courses to take. Questions concerning whether your course may fulfill requirements to qualify to take the CPA exam, contact the Washington State Board of Accountancy and NASBA. They make the final determination on eligibility requirements to sit for the exam.

  • Has at least two years’ bookkeeping experience in general bookkeeping, accounts receivable and payable and the bank reconciliation.
  • Records transactions in the journals and subsidiary journals.
  • Posts entries to the ledger accounts.
  • May or may not do adjusting entries, file federal and state payroll returns and compute related deposits.

  • Maintains and handles all books through the adjusted trial balance.
  • Records assets, leases and expenditures and performs the monthly bank reconciliation.
  • Analyzes and corrects current-period errors in the general ledger.
  • Does the payroll, files federal and state payroll tax returns and computes related deposits.

  • Responsible for setting up and maintaining books for small- to mid-size businesses.
  • Maintains all journals and ledger accounts.
  • Records assets, leases and expenditures, and does the monthly bank reconciliation.
  • Maintains the journals, subsidiary journals and ledger accounts.
  • May do the payroll, file the employment tax returns and compute related deposits.

  • Are what a CPA is to accountants: the cream of the profession.
  • Have at least 3,000 hours (two years) of experience and have signed a code of ethics.
  • Must earn an average of 30 continuing professional education credits a year to maintain certification.
  • Meet the highest national standards for bookkeepers in accounting, tax and payroll.
  • Have passed a national examination at Sylvan-Prometric test centers and achieved a grade of at least 75% on each of five tests:
    • Adjusting entries
    • Error correction, including the bank reconciliation
    • Depreciation, book and tax, including passenger autos
    • Payroll
    • Inventory under the perpetual and periodic systems, including moving and weighted average, LIFO, FIFO and LCM costing.

  • Has up to one year’s bookkeeping experience.
  • Records basic transactions in the journals and subsidiary journals and posts entries to the ledger accounts with minimum supervision.
  • Totals the subsidiary ledger accounts and, under supervision, reconciles with the control accounts.

*The Freelance Bookkeeper, Bookkeeper and Full-charge Bookkeeper have higher potential for career opportunities if they are Certified Bookkeepers.

(Job descriptions and associated tasks are compliments of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeeping (AIPB).)

Career Center

BC students and alumni are encouraged to utilize the free resources at the Center for Career Connections. They assist with career exploration, job/internship search, resume writing, and interviewing techniques.

Last Updated May 7, 2024